What is a Spread 'Em Pool?
Our Spread 'Em pool is also known as an ATS or Against the Spread Pool. Every week, on either Sunday or Monday, we will update the next week's sheet with the current Point Spread for each game. You will then pass copies out to potential participants of your pool, having each participant try to correctly pick which team will cover the spread.
Due to not knowing whether a key player will be able to participate in a game, there are some instances where the linesmakers may delay releasing the spreads until later in the week. If this is the case we will come up with the spread ourselves, this will ensure you have the full week to get your pool entries in.
What is the Spread?
Beside each team's name you will see something like -4.5 or +4.5. The team that has the minus sign is favored by 4.5 points and the team with the plus sign is the underdog by 4.5 points. In this example, for a pick to be correct, the favorite must win by 5 or more points. We will always use half-point-spreads so that there will never be any pushes/ties. Keep in mind that if a person picks the underdog, that team does not have to win, but instead can not lose by more points than the point spread.
The participant picks the Cleveland Browns at +4.5(underdog), the Browns can either win, or lose the game by up to 4 points and the pick is correct. If they were to lose by 5 or more the pick would be incorrect.
Filling out the Sheet
Each participant should put a check mark in the box provided beside the team that they think will "cover the spread". Each person should also write their name and their guess for the total points scored in the Monday night game in the spaces provided. The tiebreaker is to be used, if after every game(including the Monday night game) 2 or more people have picked the same amout of games correctly. I prefer to use the person that is simply the closest to the total points scored, as opposed to the closest without going over.
Winning the Pool
Simply total up the number of games each person has picked correctly, the person with the highest total is the winner.
My favorite way to run this pool is to allow the participants to choose half of the games against the spread and the other half as a straight pick 'em pool. The pool administrator does not say which games will be picked ATS, but instead each participant has the option of picking which games they are most confident will cover the spread and which games they are most confident in just a team winning.